A Very Happy and Blessed New Year!
“Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come; the glory of the Lord shines upon you!” Jesus, the light of the world, has come. He has come for all people in the world. At St. Francis Church we see in the people who worship here that the light of Christ has indeed shone forth to all parts of our world. we are privileged to be a church of people of every race and nation. This week, as we celebrate the Epiphany, many of our sisters and brothers will exchange gifts, remembering that the Magi traveled from various parts of the world and brought gifts to Jesus. This is the day that many participate in the exchange of gifts rather than Christmas eve or Christmas day. The Christmas season is rich in tradition and days of celebration. This was a great feast for St. Francis of Assisi. It was one of the only times that he wanted everyone to be extravagant in its celebration. The Christmas season continues until next Sunday with the Baptism of the Lord.
A sincere thanks to all who gave so generously to the Hurricane Relief Fund. Over $10,000 was collected here at St. Francis. The funds have been given to our Franciscan parish on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Several of their buildings suffered damage including their main church in Brant Beach, the Parish Center, the Friary, and the Convent. The church in Brant Beach is closed now for clean up and repair and they hope it will reopen in time for Easter, but this is only a hope. The Parish Center recently reopened and the Friars and Sisters have been able to return to their homes. Insurance covers some things, but not everything.
Many thanks to all for your cards, gifts, and donations at this time of the year. we are grateful for your generosity.
Best wishes for a healthy, blessed New Year. You are always in our prayers.